Response Nuanced

A few days ago, the Huffington Post published a story titled “Allen West Blames President Obama For Libya Attack; John McCain Backs Arab Spring.” After detailing what West and others, including Sarah Palin, had to say critical of President Obama’s response to the Benghazi butchering of an American ambassador, Michael McAuliff waxed wise with the “nuanced” approach of three senatorial sages:

But Palin’s former running mate, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), penned a far more nuanced response, along with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.). They argued that despite the anguish and outrage Americans feel at the diplomats’ deaths, it is important to continue to promote democracy and the Arab Spring.

The three senators, who are often critical of the Obama administration, represent perhaps the most influential legislators among centrist and conservative foreign policy makers. McCain is the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, on which Graham also serves, and Lieberman chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

“Despite this horrific attack, we cannot give in to the temptation to believe that our support for the democratic aspirations of people in Libya, Egypt, and elsewhere in the broader Middle East is naive or mistaken,” they wrote:

“We cannot resign ourselves to the false belief that the Arab Spring is doomed to be defined not by the desire for democracy and freedom that has inspired millions of people to peaceful action, but by the dark fanaticism of terrorists,” they warned, cautioning that if the United States gave up, it would be a win for terrorists.

“To follow this misguided path would not only be a victory for the extremists and their associates, but a betrayal of everything for which Chris Stevens and his colleagues stood and gave their lives,” the senators wrote. “In short, it would be a betrayal of our own best ideals as Americans and our own enduring interest in using our great influence to support the overwhelming majority of people in the Middle East who want to be free from the kinds of murderers and terrorists who killed our people yesterday in Benghazi.”

The remarks of the senators, who declared they “have confidence that our own government will provide all necessary assistance” to help Libya catch the killers, also contrasted with those of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who leveled harsh criticism at the White House.

Once-upon-a-time, the late Mr. Osama bin Laden put it a bit more succinctly:

Between a strong horse and a weak horse, people will favor the strong horse.

Nuanced, my ass.


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